If you let it run free, the camera of this smartphone creates a 120x zoom. Our test explains why you shouldn’t do that and whether this smartphone belongs to the upper class.
With the Mi 11 Ultra from Xiaomi, you have a relatively thick chunk in your hand, almost twice as thick as an iPhone with the camera module at a reasonable 12.6 millimeters. After all: the camera housing that extends over the entire width ensures that the device is stable on the table. Devices with an asymmetrical camera hump, such as Samsung’s Galaxy S21 Ultra and Apple’s iPhone 12 Max Pro, tend to tilt.
The screen is giant at 6.81 inches (17.3 cm) and has an excellent resolution of 3200 x 1440 pixels (WQHD +), which also needs a lot of energy. Especially when combined with the maximum refresh rate of 120 Hertz (Hz).
With the brightness fully turned up and all options switched on, the Mi 11 Ultra achieved a runtime of 12.5 hours in my video playback endurance test. This is not bad and is enough for a day with regular use, but not more. If the runtime is more important to you, it is advisable to switch the screen to 2400 x 1080 pixels and 60 Hz.
In any case, the image quality is still excellent. The colour reproduction is realistic, the sharpness of detail is perfect, and the picture is still bright enough even when the sun is shining. The edges of the screen, which are gently curved into the frame, may have their fans; I am not one of them, if only because such screens are more sensitive to falls than straight displays.
On the back, however, there is precisely such a display, which is tiny at 1.1 inches (2.79 cm) on the diagonal. It can alert you when new notifications arrive, and if you double-tap it, it will display the time, date, and battery level for up to 30 seconds. However, all of this can also be done on the main screen. The only nice thing is the possibility to use the second display to take selfies with the primary camera. But it doesn’t seem to have been thought through to the end, because of all things, portrait mode doesn’t offer this option.
120x Fantasy Zoom
The cameras have a lot to offer. The primary camera delivers good pictures with 50 megapixels and f / 1.95, the ultra-wide-angle camera (f / 2.2) with 48 megapixels is hardly inferior. Interesting is the telecamera, which, similar to the Huawei P40 Pro and Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra, is housed transversely in the housing thanks to periscope optics and has a 48-megapixel sensor (f / 4.1).
Because this camera, like the primary camera, has optical image stabilization, you can take good close-ups with it. This works well even with a tenfold hybrid magnification because the processor in this variant still intervenes relatively cautiously in the photos.
But it gets ferocious when you use the 120x zoom with which Xiaomi advertises the device. Easily recognizable long-distance shots are indeed possible, at least if you place the device on a solid surface. Still, they don’t have much to do with reality due to the massive interpolation of the image pixels.
Fast And Colourful
To match the display, camera and price, Xiaomi packs the fast Snapdragon 888 processor from Qualcomm into the Mi 11 Ultra. So it is not surprising that the mobile phone achieves top scores in benchmark tests, which put it on a par with upper-class models such as the OnePlus 9Pro, the Oppo Find X3 Pro and the US version of the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra.
This performance is at least equipped to run smoothly even after the following major Android updates. Since it ships with Android 11 and Xiaomi usually delivers two significant updates for the Mi series, you can expect that Android 12 and 13 will work on it. Xiaomi always uses Google’s Android to use its MIUI user interface, which gives the devices their colorful look. Whether it looks good is a matter of taste.